Technically I turn 46 tomorrow. Happy Birthday to ME! Ok, celebration over.

In triathlon, you race as the age you will be at the end of the year; this is so you compete in the same age group for the entire calendar year. So in my head I’ve been 46 since my first race in May. Makes birthdays seriously anti-climatic. It can also be confusing. Especially as I get older. Hopefully I won’t ever forget a) the year I was born and b) how to do math or at least work a calculator.

My hand cycling adventures continue. I’m becoming a bona fide hand cycling Ninja. Ha ha, just kidding. You should see some of the stuff they ride on hand cycles around here. Humbling.

Come ON, Mom!

I AM able to go up hills in the gear NEXT to granny gear now. Woot! And on Tuesday Puck dared me to ride about 1.5 miles of easy single track. I did. It included a creek crossing. And it also made me realize just how wide my back end is. That’s the back end of THE BIKE, thank you very much. Some bushes suffered. And there were a few oh sh** moments. I think I prefer my hand cycling trails double track.

Bandit has been accompanying us whenever I can steal her away – you’ve met Bandit in previous posts. She and Puck play and fight like siblings. I laugh a lot just watching them. It wears Puck out completely. WONDERFUL.

Today, as we were coming back down on our ride, a hunter stopped and asked if he could take our picture. I guess the sight of a goofy woman on a hand cycle holding two drooling dogs (I grab them, or attempt to, when cars come by) was just too much for him to pass up.

My hand cycling pals

My rehab is going really well. I’m walking without crutches and with my brace unlocked. I’m swimming, with a second brace on – these braces soak up a lot of water. Funny how much I appreciate swimming when it is one of the few aerobic things I can do.

Today at physical therapy I was allowed to walk for 15 minutes on the Alter G treadmill without my brace. I topped out at (a whopping) 1.6 miles per hour.

You have probably never seen an Alter G treadmill – they aren’t your every day treadmill, especially because they cost upwards of $35K – but they are pretty cool. You put on a pair of funny looking neoprene shorts (aka the clown suit). These zip into the Alter G so that everything below your waist is enclosed in a vacuum-sealed bubble. The Alter G uses fancy NASA unweighting technology (basically pressurizing the bubble) so that you can walk or run while only supporting a % of your body weight. Today I was supporting only 40% of my body weight. It allowed me to focus on walking normally without fear; important to gaining back normal leg function. Exciting!!!

I also sat on a stationary bike and tried to convince my knee to bend enough to do a full rotation on the pedals. It wasn’t quite ready to agree, but it is close. I’ve been working hard on bending it, but getting from 90 degrees of flexion to 120 degrees is tougher than I expected. My current record is 108.

I am planning to take my birthday off from hand cycling. Maybe I’ll take myself out for a beer. I’ll definitely take myself out for a coffee. Possibly TWO coffees.

That’s me, crazy party animal.